Joko's lead narrows in Indonesian election as voting nears

In the simultaneous parliamentary elections, Mr Joko's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle is set to secure most votes, followed by Mr Prabowo's Gerindra and Golkar, the survey showed.
In the simultaneous parliamentary elections, Mr Joko's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle is set to secure most votes, followed by Mr Prabowo's Gerindra and Golkar, the survey showed. PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (BLOOMBERG) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo's lead over his challenger Prabowo Subianto narrowed as campaigning for next month's election gathered momentum, according to a pre-poll survey.

Mr Joko, also known as Jokowi, and his running mate Ma'ruf Amin would secure 53.6 per cent of votes, little changed from 53.2 per cent in a January survey, pollster Charta Politika said in Jakarta on Monday (March 25).

Mr Prabowo and Mr Sandiaga Uno would poll 35.4 per cent, up from 34.1 per cent, the agency said.

The latest survey confirms trends in recent polls showing Mr Prabowo narrowing the gap with the incumbent in a rematch of the bitterly fought 2014 election.

The candidates are wooing voters with pledges to create more jobs, stable prices and higher economic growth in the world's fourth-most populous country.

Mr Joko still continues to lead the former Suharto-era general by double digit margins in most surveys.

SNAPSHOT OF PRE-POLL SURVEYS

If the trends of the March 1-9 survey continue, Mr Joko will garner 60.2 per cent of the national vote and Mr Prabowo will secure 39.8 per cent, Charta Politika said.

The incumbent's approval rating was unmoved at 65.9 per cent in the latest survey, compared with 65.8 per cent in January, it said. The survey of 2,000 respondents has a margin of error of 2.19 per cent.

In the simultaneous parliamentary elections, Mr Joko's Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle is set to secure most votes, followed by Mr Prabowo's Gerindra and Golkar, the survey showed.